Excess Paper - Having 4 kids, I have found that elementary schools are the worst (by far) at wasting paper!
When my two youngest sons were in elementary school, at the same time, I was flabbergasted at the amount of waste paper that I received every week. EVERYTHING was double...memos from the PTA, general teacher memos, memos from the principal, etc., etc.
I felt guilty just throwing them into the recycle bin, so I figured out a way to use them. I keep anything that wasn't used, on the reverse side, on the pullout tray above my pc keyboard.
I'm always jotting things down while I'm at the pc, so why use "good" paper for that??? So, now I call it my "crap" paper. The kids and my husband know what I mean when I say "use the crap paper" when they need paper for something not "good" paper-worthy. :)
Now that I only have one son (and this is his last year) in elementary school, it's amazing the amount of "crap" paper that is no longer sent home.
What are other people's use? Again, I don't use this "paper" for my critters because I don't want them gnawing on the ink.
Empty Paper Towel Rolls - I have a couple of different uses for empty paper towel rolls.
1) I have a plastic box, roughly the length of the roll, and big enough to store 5-6 empty ones. When I make my bindings (for quilts, placemats, etc.) I wrap the finished binding around the roll, pinning it at various spots so that it doesn't slip.
2) Because inevitably end up with more than I need, I give them to my gerbil. He just has a field day gnawing away and finishes off a roll in minutes. All the other animals couldn't be bothered but at least it makes his day. lol
Toilet Paper Rolls - You could use them for small binding projects, I suppose, but I don't bother. I just give them to my little gerbi-nator and he ends up with a nice stash of bedding by the end of the week (mixed in with little bits of batting).
Cotton Batting Scraps - Now, I have to admit that I'm a pack rat and have a difficult time throwing things away. I use them for: 1) pincushion linings, 2) placemats, 3) table runners, 4) for the gerbils and hamsters.
Therma-Insulated Batting Scraps - I use these for: 1) to make insulated coasters, 2) trivets, 3) oven mitts